Speaking to Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil’s energy minister Bento Albuquerque said they will seek to convert the fleet of trucks to run on natural gas. In addition, they plan to replace the thermal plants that operate with diesel with others based on natural gas while their contracts expire, which will also impact on a growth in the national consumption of this alternative fuel.
According to the Brazilian oil and gas specialist Bruno Epiro, the new discoveries in the Sergipe basin, together with the increased production capacity of the Presal, “will significantly increase the amount of natural gas in the country.” However, ministry calculations require a challenging 35% advance.
In this regard, Argentina could take advantage of the growing natural gas consumption in the neighboring country, if it continues to increase its production levels thanks to the development of Vaca Muerta.
In the case of natural gas for vehicles, the most recommended method is LNG, since it allows a greater radius of action. In this sense, the liquefaction plant that YPF is planning to install in Bahía Blanca acquires greater commercial appeal. Of the 20 million cubic meters per day that YPF wants to export through Bahía Blanca, half could go to Brazil, leaving the rest to the Asian markets that are the ones that buy the most LNG.
“Brazil would have us as its most competitive LNG provider for a matter of distance and for the economic integration agreements that facilitate the exchange. It would be a very interesting opportunity that can lead to an LNG corridor between both countries that even helps reduce regional production costs,” said Cristian Alonso, Argentinean industrial engineer and energy consultant, to the newspaper La Política Online.
“The Brazilian market would represent a very important demand due to the size of its automotive fleet and the immensity of its harvest that is now transported on a diesel basis. In turn, the new plant could also supply Uruguay and open the door to other types of transportation, like marine and the railroad, that today are beginning to switch to natural gas,” added Alonso.